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John Carroll

From Academic Kids

John Carroll (January 8 1735December 3 1815) was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church religious order of the Society of Jesus. He served as the first bishop and archbishop of the United States — present-day Archdiocese of Baltimore. He was founder of Georgetown University, the oldest Roman Catholic school in the United States and one of the twenty-eight member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Carroll was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and educated mainly at the College of St. Omer in French Flanders. He joined the Jesuits in 1753 and was ordained priest in 1761. Carroll remained in Europe until he was almost 40, teaching at St-Omer and Liège, and acting as chaplain to several British aristocrats travelling on the continent. When the Society of Jesus was dissolved in 1773, he made arrangements to return to Maryland. In 1776, the Continental Congress asked Carroll, his cousin Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, and Benjamin Franklin to travel to Quebec and attempt to get the French Canadian population to join the revolution. Although the group was unsuccessful, it made Carroll well known to the government of the new republic.

In 1784, based on Franklin's recommendation to the papal nuncio in Paris, Carroll was made Superior of Missions in the United States of North America, establishing a hierarchy in the United States and removing the Catholic Church in the U.S. from the authority of the vicar apostolic of London. He was appointed Bishop of Baltimore on November 6 1789, by Pope Pius VI, becoming the first bishop in the United States. In 1791 Bishop Carroll convened the first synod of priests in the U.S. He became the first Roman Catholic archbishop in the US in 1808 when Baltimore was elevated to an archdiocese.

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